Ron Paul and the Bigots: Plain Talk or Plausible Deniability? | January 11, 2008

Chip Berlet

Chip Berlet

Reposted from the Hufington Post 1/11/08

Ron Paul wants us to believe that he wasn’t paying attention when the newsletters that went out under his name for twenty years carried articles that were racist, homophobic, and antisemitic.
This story has circulated before; however when The New Republic posted a story on Tuesday detailing some of the nastier morsels with extensive direct quotes, Ron Paul responded:

“The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts….I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.”

    Well, no, Paul really hasn’t taken any responsibility. Paul so far refuses to name the author of the turgid bigotry in his newsletter, and Paul’s responses over the years are less apologetic than non-denial denials. He didn’t write it. He didn’t know. He wasn’t paying attention. Don’t blame him.

    Who else is there to blame?
    And what about the overall slant of Paul’s newsletters and public pronouncements? For decades Ron Paul has been promoting bogus right-wing theories about a conspiracy to erode America’s national sovereignty–a conspiracy supposedly involving the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Trilateral Commission. These are the same allegations spread by the armed militia movement of the 1990s. Paul’s current claims about a proposed North American Union and a so-called “NAFTA Superhighway” from Mexico to Canada echo pet conspiracy theories of dubious right-wing information sources such as World Net Daily and Human Events.

    Paul denies he promotes these conspiracy theories, even though they are essentially identical to right-wing conspiracy theories circulated since the 1950s. In the 1960s the font of such New World Order conspiracy theories was the John Birch Society, an ultra-conservative organization who today still carries forward the proposition (first articulated in the late 1790s) that a secret society called the Illuminati are constructing a One World Government and manipulating elected officials in the United States.

    Paul, no surprise, has become a hero to legions of conspiracy theorists, including some for whom White supremacy, homophobia, and antisemitism are as American as apple pie. Organized racist groups use generic conspiracy theories as an entry point for recruitment. Since the 1800s, claims of sinister plots for global subversion have been interwoven with lurid antisemitic stories of Jewish plots for global conquest.

    It is not fair to suggest that Ron Paul is part of any of these bigoted movements, but it is more than fair to ask Paul why he lacks the common decency and common sense to quickly return a campaign donation from a notorious neonazi. It is also fair to ask Paul to explain in more detail how his views about the covert plans of global elites to destroy U.S. sovereignty differs from the generic or antisemitic New World Order conspiracy theories easily found on the Web. What are Paul’s specific sources of information for his claims? When Paul provides his sources we can compare them to the theories promulgated by the John Birch Society–as well as groups with more bigoted baggage.

    The rhetoric of Ron Paul over the past decade has been interpreted by some constituencies as coded support for bigoted ideas. This use of coded language in public debate is nothing new. As a Presidential candidate, George Wallace refined the art of coded White supremacist appeals to a high political art form. Wallace knew he was speaking in code, as did President Richard Nixon who adapted the Wallace rhetoric for the Republican’s racist “Southern Strategy.” Does Paul ever wonder why ultra-right crackpots, conspiracy theorists, bigots, and neonazis champion his cause? Does Paul not realize his rhetoric tends to support bigots unless it is clarified?

    Why is it so hard for Paul to see that his name is being bandied about by bigots who suggest that Paul holds beliefs that he claims he does not hold? Why doesn’t Paul realize he has an obligation to forcefully distance himself from such claims? This isn’t about guilt by association; this is about a major political candidate standing up and setting the record straight using clear language. Otherwise it gives the appearance that Paul is seeking public plausible deniability, while continuing to court the very constituencies he suggests he rejects.



    1. “Ron Paul wants us to believe that he wasn’t paying attention when the newsletters that went out under his name for twenty years carried articles that were racist, homophobic, and antisemitic.”

      Anti-semitic? That’s a new one. I haven’t seen anything anti-semitic in the TNR selections.

      Can you please post a link to the source where you read these anti-semitic comments in the newsletters?

      That is, you did read some anti-semitic comments, right? You’re not just repeating some hearsay, right?

      Comment by georgedance — January 12, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

    2. Here’s the link to the Huffington Post article. These “charges” are not new news, they have been around for quite awhile.


      Comment by leftofdayton — January 12, 2008 @ 5:42 pm

    3. LeftofDay: If this is meant to be a reply to me, it fails badly. What I’m looking for is one anti-semitic statement that someone has read. The claim that attacks on the Trilateral Commission, CFR, and Federal Reserve are some kind of code for antisemitic language doesn’t cut it.

      It looks like as if, no one is bothering to examine or challenged Kirchick’s evidence, out of fear of being thought soft on racism, antisemitism, and homophobia.

      Comment by georgedance — January 13, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

    4. The article contains a direct link to the New Republic article [hyper-linked as NASTIER MORSELS]that quotes from his newsletter. In case you can’t link from it here is the address.

      Comment by leftofdayton — January 14, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


    Connecting to %s

    About author








    %d bloggers like this: